Harvard University summer language program relocated to Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan: The relations between China and Taiwan do not tend to settle amid which the Harvard University is relocating its summer language program from China to Taiwan.

Harvard’s study abroad program that allows US students to explore the Chinese capital while improving their mandarin, will move to Taipei’s National Taiwan University (NTU) next year, Taiwan Focus reported.

The publication stated that 60 Harvard University students will attend the eight-week program at NTU next summer.

According to NTU, the program is also planning to arrange field trips to tourist attractions in northern Taiwan, as well as a series of cultural activities such as Chinese calligraphy, Chinese Chess and making dumplings.

This decision was made “due to a perceived lack of friendliness from the host institution, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).”

The program, which was founded in 2004, began to experience difficulties accessing the classrooms and dorms they needed, Focus Taiwan reported citing program director Jennifer L. Liu.

According to Liu, problems starting emerging in 2019 when BLCU notified the program that it could no longer hold the party. Liu believes that the unwelcoming environment may be due to a change in the Chinese government’s attitude toward US institutions.

Joanne Ou, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesperson welcomed Harvard University’s decision to move its summer mandarin program to Taipei.

The spokesperson said Taiwan’s representative in Boston, where Harvard University is located, has been pushing for the program for years and are happy to see their work finally come to fruition.

The MOFA believes that the democratic and free society in Taiwan will offer an open environment for American students to learn Mandarin while developing a deeper understanding of Taiwan, Ou added.